Philip Morris is committed to taking action worldwide to prevent the sale of cigarettes to minors and is actively leading a wide variety of international youth smoking prevention initiatives that support our strong belief that minors should not smoke.
To fulfill our commitment to addressing the issue of youth smoking around the world, we have pledged to:
Support minimum age laws in every country,
Support youth access prevention programs everywhere.
Support youth anti-smoking programs, organized in concert with education and health officials in every country.
Place the message “Underage Sale Prohibited” on every packet where legally feasible.
While we are taking steps to address youth smoking it is necessary to recognize that this is a complex issue and that many other parties including Government, retailers, other manufacturers, parents, and teachers all have a stake in, and responsibility for, addressing this concern. Philip Morris International is actively supporting minimum age to purchase laws worldwide. We believe that such laws should include appropriate penalties, and we will ensure that the laws are support efforts by authorities effectively enforced.
Currently, more than 90 countries have laws regarding minimum age. This age varies from country to country. In Japan, for example, a law has been in effect since 1900 making it illegal for those 20 years and younger to smoke. In 1998, nearly a dozen countries implemented new or revised minimum age to purchase laws with the support of Philip Morris.
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We currently participate in 57 youth access prevention programs in countries from Argentina to Turkey and from Azerbaijan to Singapore. These programs are designed to communicate to our customers and trade partners that we do not want cigarettes sold to minors.
Recent outstanding examples of new programs launched are in Poland and Portugal. Here we have worked in co-operation with the national manufacturers’ association and relevant government ministers to launch youth access prevention campaigns and education programs.
We currently participate in 26 youth smoking prevention or general education programs. We believe strongly that education programs are critical elements in the effort to reduce youth smoking and that such programs should be made available to and directed at youths, parents and school groups. Programs designed to help youths resist peer pressure and make the right choices are often the most appropriate for our support and involvement.
At Philip Morris, we are committed to marketing cigarettes responsibly. We do not market to minors and we firmly believe that cigarettes should only be consumed by informed adults who have chosen to smoke.
In fact, we have pledged to work with governments and competitors proactively to secure the necessary reforms to reduce youth smoking in each country in which we operate. Philip Morris does not want young people to smoke.